Program Description

During the last few decades of the twentieth century, the outlets for niche and genre films—horror, action, sci fi, documentary and foreign language, began disappearing. This was to the detriment of cinema’s evolution. Because they were low-budget, these films could afford to be highly experimental, and so they served to advance the craft of filmmaking.

With online distribution channels quickly evolving into the dominant venues for the presentation of cinematic works, gone are the old modes of screening such as drive-ins, dollar theaters and video rental stores. In their place, sites like YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix are used by industries the world over as platforms for marketing and tracking demographics.These emerging platforms have directly effected what kind of cinematic works find funding by utilizing a “click through” system in order to judge a cinematic work’s value. Equally as revolutionary, for the first time these platforms also allow for the user to cut, mix, and merge existing videos. Through which the user is allowed to stitch together an online video playlist out of pre-existing shorts, creating it’s own narrative storyline of other’s works.

Highlighting these two shifts in cinematic history, The User: The New Auteur, presents an interactive station on the 6th floor education center throughout fall 2011. Giving museum goers the opportunity to focus their attention on how their tastes, preferences, and choices are being tracked, marketed to, and ultimately authoring the narratives of the content created, The User: The New Auteur demonstrates how each of us is an active participant in forming this new landscape of online cinema.

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